Document Detail

Stable isotope (N, C, Hg) study of methylmercury sources and trophic transfer in the northern gulf of Mexico.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20104887     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We combined N, C, and Hg stable isotope measurements to identify the most important factors that influence MeHg accumulation in fish from the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM), and to determine if coastal species residing in the Mississippi River (MR) plume and migratory oceanic species derive their MeHg from the same, or different, sources. In six coastal species and two oceanic species (blackfin and yellowfin tuna), trophic position as measured by delta(15)N explained most of the variance in log[MeHg] (r(2) approximately 0.8), but coastal species and tuna fell along distinct, nearly parallel lines with significantly different intercepts. The tuna also had significantly higher delta(202)Hg (0.2-0.5 per thousand) and Delta(201)Hg ( approximately 1.5 per thousand) than the coastal fish (delta(202)Hg = 0 to -1.0 per thousand; Delta(201)Hg approximately 0.4 per thousand). The observations can be best explained by largely disconnected food webs rooted in different baseline delta(15)N signatures (MR-plume vs oceanic) and isotopically distinct MeHg sources, with oceanic MeHg having undergone substantial photodegradation ( approximately 50%) before entering the base of the food web. Given the MR's large, productive footprint in the nGOM and the potential for exporting prey and MeHg to the adjacent oligotrophic GOM, the disconnected food webs and different MeHg sources are consistent with recent evidence in other systems of important oceanic MeHg sources.
David B Senn; Edward J Chesney; Joel D Blum; Michael S Bank; Amund Maage; James P Shine
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental science & technology     Volume:  44     ISSN:  0013-936X     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Sci. Technol.     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-02-25     Completed Date:  2010-04-29     Revised Date:  2014-04-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213155     Medline TA:  Environ Sci Technol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1630-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Carbon Isotopes / analysis*,  metabolism
Environmental Monitoring / methods
Fishes / metabolism
Mercury Isotopes / analysis*,  metabolism
Methylmercury Compounds / analysis,  metabolism
Nitrogen Isotopes / analysis*,  metabolism
Seawater / analysis*
United States
Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Carbon Isotopes; 0/Mercury Isotopes; 0/Methylmercury Compounds; 0/Nitrogen Isotopes; 0/Water Pollutants, Chemical

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